In 1979, Nuha immigrated from Syria to the USA, where she found success working in sales. Joseph was a pharmacist in Syria but left to chase the American dream, and took a job in a factory cutting fabric. Nuha and Joseph were high school sweethearts, after reconnecting and getting married, they knew they wanted to start a business of their own. They worked hard and saved everything they could. The next challenge was choosing what kind of business to get into. Given Nuha’s success in sales, and the couple’s relationships with people in the jewelry industry, opening a jewelry store seemed like the best idea. They mulled over the decision for two years until they finally pulled the trigger.
In 1988 Nuha and Joseph secured their booth at the Tri-County Jewelry Exchange with half of their savings, and spent the other half on inventory. They were warned that their spot at Tri-County would be “murder,” as they were located next to a top seller, but they were determined. They reached out to their communities back in Syria for help in building their inventory but were met with hesitation. They asked one man to loan pieces on consignment but as they were selecting pieces the man said, “Do you think you are picking fruits and vegetables? You have to pay!” They borrowed only a small amount of inventory and left feeling defeated. After a few months, they met with a kind Syrian man to borrow more inventory. Although they were timid at first because of their past experience, this man was generous enough to let them choose whatever they desired on consignment. The man said, “Don’t worry, take! Gold does not rot!”
When a nearby competitor discovered that Nuha and Joseph were buying from the same supplier, the competitor threatened the supplier and demanded that he stop selling to them. But the supplier responded saying, “I sell to who I want to,” and continued their business relationship. After four years of hard work and dedication, Gold Creations by Nuha expanded and the couple purchased the space next door, doubling the size of their booth.
As a teenager, Chris helped his parents at the Tri-County booth. He wanted to continue supporting his family, so he stayed local for college and earned a degree in finance. Upon graduating he received an offer from Bear Stearns and signed on with them, only for the recession to hit two years later. The company was acquired by JP Morgan and Chris stayed on for four years until he left to contemplate his next move. Ultimately, he decided to work with his parents full-time at Tri-County.
Within two years, business doubled and the family was approached by a fellow jeweler with a business proposition. The jeweler had opened a store in Plainview and wasn't doing well, so he wanted to see if Chris and his parents would be interested in taking over the space. After one year they reached an agreement and on April 1, 2014, the Plainview location became theirs. Nuha Jewelers opened its doors in July 2014 and has enjoyed serving as one of Long Island’s top jewelers ever since.
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